Monday, March 2, 2015

7 Reasons to Give Your Bath Zone a Living Room Vibe

by Natasha Saroca

With a few living room–like touches, you can transform your bathroom
 into a practical, relaxing retreat that’s overflowing with personality

Desire a bathroom that’s inviting, comfortable and practical and reflects you? Then look to your living space for design and decorating inspiration. Doing so will encourage you to look at your bathroom through new eyes and see ways you can adopt living room design ideas to enhance your bathing space, as well as address common bathroom problems. If you’re a little on the fence about this design approach, cast your eyes over the 12 beautiful projects below, each of which highlights the reasons it’s worth looking beyond the bathroom for design inspiration when it is time to tackle your bathroom makeover project.

1. It will encourage you to experiment with wall treatments. Are you bored with your floor-to-ceiling bathroom tiles? Then take design cues from your living zone and ditch wall tiles in favor of wallpaper, wood wall panels or a striking painted feature wall instead. This statement-making en suite is a fitting example of just how well this design trick can work. Take away the bath and toilet, and the space could be easily mistaken for a living room, don’t you think? Notice, too, how the leggy cabinet and artwork hanging on the wall add to the room’s living room vibe.

If you prefer wall tiles, as you feel they’re a more practical surface for your bathroom, steer clear of plain wall tiles and opt for patterned, textured or wood-look designs instead, as they can mimic the look of wall treatments commonly used in the living zone but have the practical benefits of tile.

2. Your bath zone will feel homier and full of life. Bathrooms can sometimes feel cold and clinical, usually because they tend to feature a lot of white or other neutral tones, reflective surfaces and sharp angles, and because they are generally free of decorative accents and personal touches. Introducing housewares and other furnishings that you’d usually find in a living area to your bathroom is one way to remedy this problem and infuse your bath zone with warmth and life. Here a wonderful selection of eclectic decor — from the boat wall accents to the red vintage-style birdcage that sits on the top shelf — injects the bath area with charm, a welcoming air and a hearty dose of visual appeal.

The exposed brick wall and open shelving, along with the rustic wood vanity that resembles a well-worn sideboard, give the zone a decidedly living room–like feel, too

It’s not unusual to spy a photo gallery wall in a living room, so why don’t you create one in your bathroom, too? This feature wall idea is an ideal solution for any bathroom that feels lifeless, but especially compact bath areas where you’re limited when it comes to choosing design elements or decor that will work in the small space. The gallery wall in this bathroom not only adds a touch of personality to the otherwise unadorned space, but gives it visual interest, too.

3. It makes you look beyond standard bathroom storage. Medicine cabinets and vanities are fairly standard inclusions in any bathroom, but if you find that your space underperforms in terms of available storage, we suggest raiding your living zone (or even your kitchen, dining area or bedroom) to find a possible solution. In this master bath, an antique storage unit takes pride of place in the room and has been charged with the task of providing additional storage space for towels and other bath-time essentials. Photos and decorative accents are also scattered across the shelves to give the setup a custom, personalized touch.

Open shelving and other living room storage options, like credenzas, also can double as stylish and practical bathroom storage solutions, as you can see here. Bookcases, glass-door cabinets and sideboards are a few other suitable options.

Open shelving in the bathroom is not for everyone, as it does require a little extra effort come cleaning day to wipe up dust and moisture on the surface. But if you are happy to spend a bit more time maintaining your shelving, ignore the critics and incorporate some in your bath zone.

If space is at a premium in your bathroom and you don’t have room to accommodate multiple storage units, why not convert an old, well-loved piece of furniture into a vanity instead? I love the vintage cabinet that takes a starring role in this contemporary bath zone — notice how it adds a touch of charm, character and visual appeal to the clean, simple scheme.

4. It will enhance your bathroom’s soothing, relaxing vibe … Want to make your bath area feel infinitely more peaceful and inviting? Introducing soft furnishings that are usually found in the living zone to your bathroom is one way to do just that. Think rugs, upholstered chairs and ottomans, and breezy curtains — these soft, cozy additions will help balance the sleek finishes and angular lines that are prominent in many bathrooms. Just be sure to choose pieces made from a material that’s resistant to moisture, or remember to waterproof the furnishings before moving them into your bathroom.

5. … Plus, it’ll make your space more practical. While bringing soft furnishings into your bathroom will help transform the space into a relaxing bathing area and chill-out zone, these additions provide plenty of practical benefits, too. For example, upholstered seating provides a comfy spot where you can sit while you’re waiting for your tub to fill up, or where elderly people or those with mobility issues can rest while they get dressed or do other bathroom tasks. Curtains can provide privacy (a must if your bathroom has large windows that face out onto your street or outdoor entertaining areas) and protection from harsh sunlight, while rugs can double as generously sized floor mats that provide extra coziness underfoot.

6. It gives you an excuse to bring entertainment into the bathroom. If you spend a lot of time getting ready every morning in the bathroom or relaxing in the tub or shower at night, you might like to consider introducing some entertainment (like the waterproof TV pictured here) into the space. You might like to catch up with your favorite TV show or the nightly news while soaking in the tub. If a luxe, high-tech addition like this isn’t for you, why not sit a radio or docking station on your vanity to keep you entertained while you bathe instead?

Are you a book lover? Personally, I’m not really a fan of reading in the bathroom, but if it’s your thing, the bookshelf-inspired setup pictured here might pique your interest.

7. You can create a space that ties in beautifully with the rest of your home.  Drawing inspiration from your living room when revamping your bathroom has more benefits than simply making the space more relaxing, personal and practical. It will also make your bath zone feel and look like an extension of your living space and surrounding areas, and ensure that it reflects the unique character and charm that are at the heart of your home.

This elegant bathroom provides a fitting example; the design elements — such as the ikat-patterned ottoman, factory-style light, shag-rug-like floor mat and crystal chandelier — echo features used in the home’s living room and other spots around the house. The result is a dwelling with a cohesive, harmonious and custom look that flows from room to room.

This elegant bathroom provides a fitting example; the design elements — such as the ikat-patterned ottoman, factory-style light, shag-rug-like floor mat and crystal chandelier — echo features used in the home’s living room and other spots around the house. The result is a dwelling with a cohesive, harmonious and custom look that flows from room to room.

Cabinet-S-Top is a kitchen and bath remodeling company located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH ~ 330.239.3630 ~

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